TopEngage recruits patients for different specialized hospitals/clinics and medical companies in Asia.
In year 2016, the Latvian born Oksana Petersen decided to start her own company, TopEngage. At this time she was living in Hong Kong with her husband, who was hired by H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) to head the Hong Kong IT operations.
TopEngage is headquartered in Singapore and the company markets the services of medical clinics, hospitals, pharmaceutical, and other medical companies. Since Oksana started in 2016, the market has grown tremendously and today the company has customers throughout South East Asia; in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Vietnam.
Oksana explains that today, when almost everything happens online, there are many people searching for special treatments of all kind of diseases, therefore it’s so important that companies are located right where potential customers are looking for them.
TopEngage recruits patients for different specialized hospitals/clinics and medical companies. She gives an example; a huge part of tourists come from Europe, USA and Australia to go through e.g. a dental treatment or a checkup, and often they combine treatments with a vacation. Plastic and orthopedic surgery attracts many tourists to visit South Korea, e.g. Thailand is very famous for dental treatments and is less expensive than in Europe or the US.
Also, laser eye surgery is among the best in Thailand and let’s not forgets, it is also a heaven for stem cell treatments. Oksana says that Thailand is world-leading when it comes to qualitative health care. This is true, because Thailand has some very highly educated specialist doctors.
How does a customer choose the optimal clinic/hospital?
The right location and an informative presentation/introduction and merits, are the 3 keywords. It is not very often that the cost only is the deciding factor. Oksana says that people from Scandinavia are the less prone to be looking for health care abroad. This probably is due to the fact that Sweden is known for having a good health care system, but even facts like the lack of foreign language capabilities play an important role. We have seen this changing during the last few years though, especially due to the long waiting times for treatments in Scandinavia.
TopEngage also provides a helping hand to buyers of medical equipment, including laboratory equipment, machines and all kind of small appliances. The search goes online before the company’s sale persons take over.
As you know, today everything is traceable, from every contact initiation to the sold product, to a patient’s arrival and his/hers received treatment, all are traceable. This is the biggest advantage with online marketing.
Who is the woman behind this successful company?
Oksana was born and grew up in Latvia, which was a part of former Soviet Russia, during her childhood. She tells me that she belonged to the Russian minority in Latvia and her mother tongue was Russian. Today she admits that she has forgotten a lot and her Russian is a bit rusty.
Oksana moved to Sweden in 1999 and started studies at the university. She picked up Swedish quickly and easily and started studying Urban and Special Planning at the University of Stockholm. She was only 18 years old when she moved to Sweden, so today she sees herself as a Swede. She adds that she is very proud of being Swedish (and she looks very Swedish, tall, slim and with blond hair). She observes that Swedes are well regarded in most parts of the world.
After finishing her studies, she worked for Statens Beredning i Medicinsk utvärdering (Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services).
“I was the international coordinator of our global network of 120 similar authorities from all over the world belonged.”
Later, on Oksana worked for SITS (Safe Implementation of Treatments in Stroke). SITS has its operation within the famous Karolinska Institutet (The Karolinska Institute) in Stockholm.
“Again I was the international project leader and worked with hospitals and stroke devices at different hospitals in 48 countries. Here I learned a lot about how health care can be improved. With this background, it’s no wonder that my company today is all about health care and medical industry.”
Oksana and her husband decided together in 2015 to take a year off, in Swedish we call it “sabbatsår”.
“We felt we could use a change in our lives and we decided to discover Vietnam. After a few months, we realized that a life on the beach under a coconut tree is not as glorious as you might think. We were bored very quickly after having done nothing more than swimming, eating and relaxing. So we started a few projects there.”
In 2016, Oksana’s husband got recruited to Hong Kong and we both moved there and that was where I started TopEngage. After only one year, the company had so many customers that her husband decided to quit his job and join her.
“We moved to stay 3 years in Vietnam, but later decided to try out Thailand. We had Swedish friends living in Hua Hin and the city was the right size for us, as I am not a big city girl, so that’s why we decided to settle in Hua Hin,” Oksana explains
“We are frequently going back and forth between Hua Hin, Bangkok and Singapore. Although I prefer a smaller city, I love visiting Bangkok 2-3 days monthly. “The relatively calm of Hua Hin and the bustling Bangkok gives me what I need, a perfect combination.”
She finds Thailand fantastic in many ways; the climate, the nature, the environment and the people. She, like most of us, find Thailand a good country to live in. Like all of us, she doesn’t like the pollution, it absolutely has to improve she says.
Does this talented woman speak Thai?
“Well, not the way I wish to, but I can get along quite well” she lets me know.
Oksana hopes to be able to get to travel and discover more of Thailand. She has been visiting Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai up in the north, Udon Thani and Rayong further south. She has also been to several islands. But her favorite place today is Phayao in northern Thailand.
“The nature was amazing there,” she says
She also wants to dive more as Thailand is well known for its clear water and excellent diving possibilities.
“To encourage more people to come here and visit Thailand, it has to become easier to travel to Thailand, easier to settle down and contribute to the community. It’s a popular destination if you think of prices, quality and products,” she tells me.
Through the Swedish Women Organization SWEA, Oksana has met many Swedish women in and around Bangkok. Maybe she will one day take the opportunity to start a sub-chapter to SWEA Bangkok in Hua Hin, as so many Swedes live and thrive there. Time will tell.